The right technologies can transform many – perhaps most – facets of operations in your senior living community. But identifying which solutions to use is only the first step, albeit a critical one.
From there, the biggest challenge is implementing them to maximize value and benefit. And since many senior living communities are now looking toward technologies to boost everything from HR and the sales cycle to accounting and finance, I’m going to discuss four things you can do to ensure you successfully implement your new workplace technologies.
1. Don’t Wait for Tomorrow
Despite still being in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was still a record-setting year for mergers and acquisitions in the senior living industry. In fact, Q4 alone accounted for 120 deals for a total deal value of over $2.5 billion.
Why is this statistic important for a single community, even one not active in M&A? Because it shows how rapidly the landscape is changing, where owners and operators aren't sitting on their hands and waiting for calmer seas. In other words, things are moving fast and it's easy to get lapped by more flexible, motivated, and aggressive competitors.
From a technology perspective, implementation strategies won't do you any good until the rubber hits the road. With the industry evolving so quickly, procrastinating on implementing new workplace technologies is essentially waving the white flag to competing communities that have prioritized digital transformation.
The lesson to take away from all of this – when it comes to new solutions that can streamline your operations in some way, don't wait for tomorrow what you can do today. Because the competition certainly isn’t.
2. Lead by Example
Does the phrase do as I say, not as I do sound like effective messaging from an organization's leadership? Of course not. It's never been more important for management – no matter the industry – to lead by example.
Therefore, when you're implementing new technologies into your operations, it's critical that leadership doesn't just explain why they’re so important to your organization and people. Instead, they should inspire by adopting the technologies themselves.
Change is always going to be unnerving to some people, especially when it comes to technology. However, when employees see managers embracing new tools, going through training, raising their hand and asking questions, it goes a long way toward helping people feel comfortable enough to take the technology plunge themselves.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Rome wasn't built in a day, and the same goes for your technology implementations. It's an iterative process that builds on itself with training, practice, and time. And since everyone in your organization, from your Executive Director to the kitchen new hire are human, people are bound to make mistakes.
The trick is to make certain such mistakes are simply part of the learning curve. If you're prioritizing use of the new tools and understand a bit of patience is warranted, your people will feel more comfortable using technology. Put another way, express to your people that practice makes perfect and no one is expecting flawless execution on day one.
4. Track Your Progress
Once again, implementing new technologies is iterative. Some people take to them like fish out of water while others will take far longer to become proficient. Thus, an implementation might sometimes feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back.
However, if you consistently track particular metrics to gauge your progress as you go – not to mention timelines and benchmarks for comparison – you'll always be able to see where your team and individuals are excelling or falling behind. These types of insights are crucial in guiding your training sessions and revealing any pain points you should devote more time and attention to.
The senior living industry is at a crossroads right now, one where technology will play an essential role in determining who comes out on top. Here at OneDay, our partners know that they’re never in it alone and can always count on our solutions and team as fuel for their success.